Released: 2010, Reversed Records (CAN)/Hoglan Industries (USA)
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Gene Hoglan’s drum skills are among the best in the business and he finally gets the chance to showcase just how he does it on his first instructional DVD, THE ATOMIC CLOCK. Hoglan’s years behind the kit have taken him from Strapping Young Lad to Fear Factory, Dethklok to Death, and Testament to Dark Angel, including numerous other guest spots. Along the way, the entirely self-taught drummer has left an indelible stamp by combining progressive flair with balls-out fury that has influenced too many players to mention.
On THE ATOMIC CLOCK, Hoglan takes viewers on a tour of what it takes to be Gene. From his kit setup, warm-up routine and how he holds his sticks to simple techniques that will help both new and experienced drummers, Hoglan covers all the bases without ever becoming overly technical and alienating the viewer. Of course, there is a lot of musical terms and discussion—this is a drum DVD, after all—but Hoglan’s sense of humor and light take on the material keeps things moving. Witnessing Hoglan laying down the drum tracks in full for Mechanism’s 2009 debut, INSPIRED HORRIFIC, is a sight to behold. Even he admits that the music is incredibly technical and fast, so seeing the man himself try to keep up on “Machine” and “Unsinger” just proves how good Hoglan is at his craft. Given his background, one would be led to believe THE ATOMIC CLOCK is devoted to full-on metal but Hoglan’s own musical tastes dip into jazz and funk, which he switches to seamlessly, even showcasing a track he recorded with pop artist, Jilly C.
The sticker price of $30 is pretty steep, but there really is quite a lot offered here and is as near to one-on-one teaching as any aspiring skinsman could ask for. While dipping into technique and focusing exclusively on drums, Hoglan keeps the material interesting and really shows how he does what he does. Fans of Gene Hoglan will take away a lot from THE ATOMIC CLOCK.